Muhammad Mokaev posed in a Manchester United shirt with UFC president Dana White after winning at London’s O2 Arena
MMA sensation Muhammad Mokaev posed in a Manchester United shirt with UFC President Dana White after making a stunning debut for the promotion by choking Cody Durden in 58 seconds at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday.
Rising flyweight star Mokaev downed Durden with a flying knee, then choked the controversial American before wheeling off to celebrate a dream first fight in his homeland where he settled as a refugee after leaving Dagestan as a 12-year-old.
“In 2018, I messaged Dana White and I said, ‘in four years, I’ll be in the UFC,'” the 21-year-old reflected afterwards as he prepared to pick up his performance bonus. “I’m here – I’m about to collect $50,000.”
Mokaev added to BT Sport: “It feels amazing – especially when I’m fighting guys who are ten years older than me.
“That’s his fourth fight and my debut. To make a statement like this is something different.
“He’s a wrestler – they’re all going to eat knees. I’m a wrestler too but I wasn’t just doing wrestling MMA all my career; I’ve been doing MMA, boxing, mixed.
“He dipped down because I faked the right knee and then I thought, ‘I’ll go for it.’
“Once I got his neck – I finish everybody if I get their neck. In the gym, I spar with featherweight, lightweight guys.
“I’ve never had a flyweight sparring partner in my life. I’m too strong for these guys. That’s why I feel so confident.”
Almost 17,000 people watched Mokaev extend his perfect professional record to seven wins.
“I didn’t expect so many people. This is my first fight and nobody turns up, usually. To have Bruce Buffer announcing my name is amazing. Now I want top-15 guys.
“I want Tim Elliott. He’s a top-ten guy. I hope he accepts this fight. I want to fight him, beat him, go to the top five and be fast-tracked to a UFC belt. I hope that Dana gives me this fight.”
Durden had been criticized for saying that he had sent previous opponent Qileng Aori “back to China where he came from” in his immediate post-fight comments in November.
The 30-year-old had accused Mokaev of being angry and “acting hard” in what he claimed was an unsuccessful pre-fight attempt to be intimidating, adding that he would “shock the world”.
“I live to fight another day,” Durden told his fans afterward. “I had the best camp, great weight cut and I really felt alive in the cage. I got beat, fair and square. I’ll be back.”
White was impressed by Mokaev. “Another guy who made 50 grand and deserved it,” said the businessman. “Everybody performed tonight. It doesn’t get any better than this.”
https://ift.tt/xBTvEYH 20, 2022 at 05:43PM
from RT – Daily news